The big and returning student hackathons like PennApps, MHacks and HackNY are back and kicking off a big Fall season. What’s even more exciting is how they are inspiring more student leaders to create hackathons with their own twist.
Hackathon As Mentoring Opportunities
Y-Hack, Yale’s hackathon, started off as a smaller event last year but this year they are back and bigger than ever with a big stance on mentorship than any other hackathon. Frank Wu, co-organizer with Mike Wu said, “We want heavy mentorship and interesting tech talks, which not only helps the students who are attending the event, but also with the entire tech recruiting process. Sponsors have been really interested in this, since it’s becoming clearer and clearer to them that these events are amazing venues for recruiting top-notch technical talent.”
The Growth of Regional Hackathons
New hackathons are popping up in different regions to cater to students that might not be able to travel far to the bigger events. Johns Hopkins’ Hop Hacks, University of Chicago’s Uncommon Hackathon and University of Toronto’s U of T Hacks all are aimed at capturing collegiate talent in their regions. Another new regional hackathon, Duke University’s HackDuke is aimed at having students launch a personal project simply for the experience. “Sure, some hackathon projects do actually become real products. But by and large, the value of hackathons is as a learning experience for the students. I’ve found that most students haven’t pursued any personal projects because of self doubt of their technical abilities – even from fourth year computer science students!” says Dennis Li, one of the HackDuke organizers.
Hackthons As Teaching and Learning Events
So far, all of these hackathons have been posting attendance and registrations numbers higher than anticipated. Readyforce wishes organizers, attendees and sponsors a happy hacking Fall! Be sure to reach out to these great events to get involved.